Every morning, I drive to the Department Building and set up in my cube. I open the blind and light up the sign: “Complaints.” The sign used to be neon and many colors, but management decided it was too festive, and also some people complained that it offended them, so we made it more conservative. Now they complain it is too boring. But they also have other complaints.

“It’s too cold outside.”

“My life is without purpose.”

“My wife does not find me attractive.”

“I lost my shoe.”

“The economy is bad.”

“Last week I was here and complained about stuff, and now I feel like a bag of complaints. I just don’t like myself for complaining so much, you know?”

I take a break in the break room. People stacked up those plastic coffee cups to form an Egyptian pyramid, but somebody rearranged them to look like an Aztec pyramid. They also drew on the walls with feces. I am not linking the break room today, though the wall art is intriguing. Very Georgia O’Keefe. Then more complaints roll in.

“We do not have enough confetti.”

“My shoulders ache.”

“The movie I saw was bad. How can they ruin my childhood like that?”

“We have too much confetti.”

“My teeth form a weird shape.”

“Elephants. Cartridges. Pencils. Power adapter.”

I put labels with numbers on all the things on my desk. It’s good to number your things, because when you are done, you know how many things you have. But when somebody looks at one of those things, they cannot tell how many other things there are. It is a good security measure.

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